The Need for Flexible Work Schedules
Creating an environment that can adapt to employee needs is key to retention.
One of the great things about the hospitality industry is the array of job opportunities, roles, and responsibilities that draw people from all walks of life. Some are on a career trajectory and need full-time employment, while others simply want a seasonal, supplemental, or after-hours gig.
In order to attract the right people to the right roles and meet staffing requirements, employers must listen to what candidates want. At the top of the must-have list for many candidates: job flexibility.
What are flexible work arrangements?
In the restaurant industry, flexible work arrangements are largely thought of as shifts that don’t necessarily align with the restaurant’s open and close times. Maybe it means an employee comes in an hour after opening or works a three-hour shift instead of a six-hour one. The degree of flexibility will depend on the role, but gig employees and hourly workers in both front of house and back of house roles are seeking flexible schedules.
For hotels, flexibility in scheduling simply means offering a variety of shift start and end times that align with what employees need. Front desk employees will have different shift needs than, say, housekeepers, but adapting to individuals in terms of length of shifts, days of the week, time off, and start and end times will enable them to take care of their responsibilities outside of work. And having their needs heard and addressed goes a long way toward making a hotel a place where they want to work.
Flexible schedules and job retention
Today’s job seekers are educated about the importance of mental health and wellness, and many prioritize work-life balance. Employers can take a proactive pro-health stance by weaving this flexibility into their business culture. When they do, they’re likely to see less burnout and greater retention.
In North Carolina, there are thousands of hospitality jobs open, which means it’s a job seeker’s market. As such, a place of business needs to be a place where employees want to show up every day. (Or every other day or every other week—because the business is flexible.)
Flexible work schedules have never been more important in terms of recruiting, retaining, and motivating hospitality industry workers. Here are three main reasons:
- They help create a competitive differentiator: Flexible scheduling can be seen as a perk, helping to differentiate a business in a competitive job landscape.
- They widen the talent pool: Flexibility makes it easier to accommodate the more nontraditional employee groups, such as working parents, teachers and students looking for summer work, retirees reentering the workforce, and workers in other industries looking for a side hustle.
- They promote retention: When employee needs are met, job satisfaction increases. Satisfaction leads to engagement and, most importantly, to employment longevity.